April 28, 2017

Which Independent Players Will Make It to Opening Day? 51 Have Been in Major League Camps

March 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

One year it was Chris Coste, another Jon Weber and last season Scott Rice and Chris Colabello. The names change, but the stories are similar.  Players who have devoted years of determination and grit to beat the odds of climbing all the way from Independent Baseball leagues, through the affiliated minors and perhaps…just perhaps…squeezing their […]

Chris Colabello: Time Can’t Stop Rookie From Reaching Major Leagues with Minnesota Twins

September 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Dreams can be hard to achieve, but fortunately there is no expiration date on their fulfillment. Professional baseball player Chris Colabello learned that this year, as years of hard work finally paid off and landed him in the major leagues. Colabello, a big right-handed first baseman/outfielder, played his college ball for Division II Assumption in […]

With Talent and Motivation, Kevin Hooper ‘Without Concern’ As Wichita Powerhouse Readies for Playoffs

August 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“To be honest, there is no concern.” How often does a manager talk in such confident terms?   Never might be too soon, right? Yet, that was exactly what Wichita (KS) Wingnuts Manager Kevin Hooper said this week when I asked him what his biggest concern was heading into next week’s American Association playoffs. Let me […]

In an Odd Way, This Former Manager Now More Valuable to Independent Leagues as a Scout

August 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The first time I met Chris Carminucci he was managing the Can-Am League’s travel team, the Grays, in 2005.  Travel teams are not expected to do well, but his energy and upbeat nature were infectious. The Grays actually won half of their games the first half of the season, and it seemed obvious Carminucci would […]

Kid Blogger’s Live Interview with Rickey Henderson

July 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! Here’s the last video in my series of Baseball Hall of Fame Classic live interviews. If you don’t know who it is, here’s a hint: this outfielder played in four decades and is most remembered for his ability to steal bases and score runs. If you haven’t guessed who he is, I’m […]

The Baseball Historian’s Notes for July 15, 2013: Is it Time to Change the All Star Game?

July 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite making his major league debut on June 3rd and only playing in 37 games, 23-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig received a huge surge of support to make this year’s National League All Star team. The outfielder has done his best Roy Hobbs impression by hitting a blistering .392 with eight home […]

Clearing The Bases

April 16, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Boston Red Sox: My thoughts and prayers go out to Boston. Just another senseless act of violence once again. I’m a Yankee fan, and a Cowboy/Islander fan also, and outside of playing for a hockey team called the Blackhawks, I’ve never worn any other team’s jersey other than those three teams, would consider it disloyal, […]

Clearing The Bases

April 9, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Baltimore Orioles: Tough news for 2B Brian Roberts. He ruptured a tendon in the back of his knee and will miss most of, if not all of April. The problem for Roberts is this, even if he does return during the 2-4 week timetable, it would seem to be highly unlikely that he wouldn’t suffer […]

Early Thoughts On the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year Race

June 22, 2012 by · 7 Comments 

Last week I outlined how the American League Rookie of the Year race is shaping up and now it’s the National League’s turn. While the NL has also introduced a strong crop of rookies this year, the level of production has not been quite as high as their AL counterparts. Bryce Harper has gotten the […]

Early Thoughts on the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year Race

June 15, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

While still early, the 2012 major league baseball season is now more than a third over, and many rookies have made intentions about being up to stay clear through their play. It’s never too early to start speculating about the Rookie of the Year race, and the American League has a number of impressive candidates. […]

Willie Upshaw Already Has a Significant Major League Resume, But Bridgeport Skipper Longs for Chance to Lead a Team

May 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Willie Upshaw’s post-playing-days reputation as both a major and minor league hitting guru seems unchallenged and he enjoys the opportunity to be near his home in Fairfield, CT, but he is much like those he manages in the Atlantic League in that he wants a different job. “I get pigeonholed as a hitting coach”, the […]

The Kid from the Old School

May 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Whether or not the Philadelphia Phillies rebound from their slow start to the 2012 season, remains to be seen. But if we are watching the changing of the guard in the NL East, then the May 6 evening that Cole Hamels plunked Bryce Harper, claiming it was “Old School,” will certainly be seen as a […]

An Interview With Blue Jays’ Prospect Brad Glenn

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Headlined by Jose Bautista, the Toronto Blue Jays have become known in recent years as a power hitting team, finishing in the top 5 in the American league in home runs in each of the past 3 seasons. With their impressive collection of hitters, there is no indication that they are going to let up […]

De Coughlan, Pujol, Kendri Y Los Marlins (Coughlan, Pujol, Kendri and the Marlins)

December 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A pesar de todo lo que han hecho y dicen que les queda por hacer, la gerencia de los Marlins siempre es sospechosa de mentirle al público. Tanto que comprometieron hasta su honor, legalmente, con los fondos para el estadio. Cuando el prometedor novato Greg Coughlan fue enviado a las Menores, lo justificaron con “bajo […]

The Milwaukee Brewers Once Famous Mascot

November 11, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Most ballparks now have mascots. But how many have a real live animal mascot? Perhaps the oddest I came across were the 1902 proposed mascots for the Denver and Colorado Springs teams: a live Grizzly Bear and a live Mountain Lion. Other Western League owners frowned on the idea and the bear remained the pet […]

Catching Up With Tom Shopay

October 23, 2011 by · 9 Comments 

Former outfielder Tom Shopay had the pleasure and the misfortune to play for either veteran or very good major league teams during his career. It allowed him to have some great teammates and experience a winning environment, but it also invariably meant that he never got much of an opportunity to establish himself as an […]

¿Verlander, Cabrera O Ellsbury Para Mvp (Cabrera, Verlander, Ellsbury for MVP)

September 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Va estar candente la votación por el MVP este año, yo creo que se lo deben dar a Jacoby Ellsbury, pero esa es mi opinión que, como la del muerto, “no cuenta”. Por ejemplo, ahí está Justin Verlander, un tipo que su única temporada perdedora fue la del 2008 con 11-17 durante 7 campañas que […]

Bostick and Webster walk off with another victory

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

WEBSTER, N.Y. — Another day and another win in the last at-bat for the Webster Yankees. And a familiar surname again takes the honors. Ben Bostick (St. John Fisher) dropped a two-out, bases-loaded bunt down the first base line, and Nick Flemister scampered home as Webster came from behind in extra innings to defeat the […]

Clearing The Bases

July 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

There was no column last week as I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and needed a few days to recover.  I’m back now and with the non-waiver trading deadline just 12 days away it seems prudent to talk about some of the players that might need to send a change of address to the post […]

‘Extra Outfielder’ Now a Hitting Star

June 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

     In forging their way to the best record in the Atlantic League, the Long Island (NY) Ducks have relied on the talents of such established players at this level of play as John Rodriguez, Lew Ford, J. R. House, Ray Navarrete and Javier Colina.  It is a substantial group.         And they have Kraig […]

Juan Marichal recibio leña en Caracas (Juan Marichal received firewood in Caracas)

El 13 de junio se cumplen 48 años del no hit no run de Juan Marichal sobre el equipo de los Colt 45 de Houston. ese dia Juan demostró todo su potencial como futuro Hall de la fama. Ese dia Marichal subió al monticulo con una racha de 5 victorias en fila y termino el […]

The Time Has Come for TV Replays in Baseball

June 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Last night in Detroit, Rays outfielder Justin Ruggiano came flying around third and slid hard into home plate, avoiding the sweep tag of Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila. Ruggiano slid past the plate, spun around and nailed the plate with his foot just before Avila went to tag him again. (The second tag was further […]

19 to 21…Jose?

June 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Volume 9, #15 Jose Bautista has become such a big name in baseball that, before every game, everyone in the park stands up and asks in unison how he was following the ball in BP. “Jose, can you see…?” Alright, so that’s a lousy joke. The more important issue is, what’s up with Jose Bautista, […]

The Catch of the Young Season

May 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Several years ago I went up to Harrisburg to interview Justin Maxwell, the promising young outfielder of the Harrisburg Senators at the time. He was a warm and sincere young man and I spoke to John Stearns about the Maryland native and came away impressed. Yet truthfully it was another player who caught my eye […]

Audio Interview With Dodgers Prospect Scott Van Slyke

May 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On May 6th, I had an opportunity to interview Chattanooga Lookouts first baseman/outfielder Scott Van Slyke. He was recently selected Southern League Hitter of the Week (April 18th-24th). Scott currently leads the Southern League in batting average, doubles and extra-base hits. This interview focuses on the offensive and defensive changes he’s made during the 2011 […]

2011 Preview: Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A Dodgers Affiliate) Interviews with Top Prospects and Coaches

April 5, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

On April 5th, the Chattanooga Lookouts held their annual Media Day. I had the opportunity to interview Chris Withrow, Kyle Russell, and Franklin Stubbs. I’ll be posting interviews with other Southern League prospects and coaches throughout the season. Click on links to listen to audio ________________________________________ Chris Withrow: Starting Pitcher (#4 Prospect in Organization) Withrow […]

Wilhelmsen, Almonte Step Up, Give Indy Game 14 on Opening Day Rosters

March 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

     Erick Almonte’s unexpected jump onto the Milwaukee Brewers’ bench grabbed much of the Independent Baseball attention during spring training, but now that the reality of Opening Day is here the 32-year-old, who has not been in the major leagues since 2003, has to share the spotlight with a quartet of pitchers who also have […]

A Composite Portrait of Barry Bonds Before He Reached the Majors

March 5, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

These items are pulled together from various articles in newspapers from 1974 to early 1986. They’re presented here to shed some light on Bonds’ early personality and the talent and power he displayed before reaching the majors, many years before the steroids talk began. In 1974, Barry Bonds’ father, Bobby, left the Giants for the […]

Honig Gives Boost to All

February 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Sit down to watch “A Hall for Heroes,” “Baseball’s Golden Age,” “When It was a Game” or any number of other baseball programs. No doubt you will hear plenty from Donald Honig. Maybe you have delighted in one of 12 baseball books he has authored. This week, allow the man with plenty of baseball yarns […]

Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Top Five 1B Prospects For 2011

January 9, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

    In articles like this, many websites provide readers with the best overall prospects at any given position, but the intention here is to focus on those prospects that are likely to provide the greatest fantasy impact in the 2011 season; thus, while Oakland 1B prospect Chris Carter may have some long-term potential, he […]

Review: Time in the Minors

November 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

If you want a very good representation of the minor league baseball lifestyle and the near impossible road to the Major Leagues most of these players follow, you should check out Tony Okun’s “Time in the Minors.” Coming in at just over 85 minutes in length, the movie tells the tale of two minor leaguers […]

The National League Expansion of 1886

October 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In January of 1886, the National League was still looking for the seventh and eighth members to fill their field of teams for the upcoming season. After the 1885 season, both the Buffalo Bisons and Providence Greys had been disbanded, and their players bought out by other National League clubs. On January 16th, a committee […]

Was The Vazquez Trade Worth It?

October 24, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Ever since Javier Vazquez made a name for himself in 2004, after giving up a grand slam to Johnny Damon in the American League Championship series, Yankee fans have dreaded the sight of the right-hander on the mound. When the Yankees traded for Vazquez in the 2009 offseason, mixed feelings were going around. He was coming […]

Part Three: The Story Of The 1888-1889 New York Giants

September 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The 1889 World Series would be a battle of the boroughs as the National League champion, New York Giants, would look to repeat as world champions against the American Association champion, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. As soon as the pennants in both leagues were decided, representatives from both squads sat down and laid down the ground […]

Ayala’s Return Gives Sparky Lyle’s Team Big Boost

September 10, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

If anyone heard what sounded like a collective sigh of relief recently, it probably came from the Somerset Patriots clubhouse because pesky Elliott Ayala had shaken off the effects of being hit squarely on the mouth with a pitch sufficiently to get back in the lineup. “That’s a guy that we need,” Manager Sparky Lyle […]

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